• Published 26th Dec 2014
  • 10,913 Views, 1,960 Comments

Three Gems and a Scooter - RaylanKrios

For Rarity, what starts as a simple quest to help her sister turns into an unexpected journey of what family really means.

  • ...

What Did You Do?

One of the hardest parts of being a fashionista was balancing the pressures of immediacy within an ever-changing medium. Clients wanted the latest fashions and they wanted them now. But dresses took time to make. They needed to be designed first, then came experimenting with fabrics and colors, because pieces often looked different as they transitioned from the page to the real world. And after that transition they still needed to be sewn and tweaked so that they were perfect; and all of that need needed to be finished before the current trends ended; lest a designer be stuck with last season’s dresses taking up valuable retail space.

So, to satisfy clients for whom time was paramount while still offering whatever the flavor of the month was, Rarity had developed a few tricks. One, of course, was to keep an eye on the fashion world so that she might predict which way style trends were likely to break. Prance and Marelan being two hotspots that kept her attention. The other was to try and ensure all her designs had a timeless elegance to them; clean lines and complementary colors looked good no matter what season it was. Between those two things and some salesmareship Rarity could usually satisfy whoever ran into her shop urgently demanding the latest fashion for an event taking place tomorrow night.

“Subtle is in this year, and those vines with the small pink flowers would accent your eyes nicely,” Rarity said as she tried to persuade her latest customer that the dress she was holding was indeed what she was looking for.

Before the mare considering the dress could respond, their conversation was interrupted by the sound of a door slamming. Rainbow Dash burst into the showroom of the Carousel Boutique, nostrils flaring. “What did you do!” she shouted.

Rarity managed to restrict her anger at both the entrance and the accusation to a smile through gritted teeth. “Hello, Rainbow. As you can see, I’m with a client right now. Perhaps we could talk about this in a few minutes?” she said, barely opening her mouth lest her faux smile be proven false.

In response, Rainbow turned her attention to the very surprised mare still holding the pink flower accented silver dress. “Hey you, her dresses suck.”

“Excuse me!” Rarity choked out as she visibly recoiled from such an uncouth characterization of her stellar work.

Rainbow ignored the accusatory tone in her friend's voice and kept talking. “Yeah, they’ll fall apart the second you leave the shop. You’re better off buying from Filthy’s Barnyard Bargains.”

“I assure you that—”

“Nope, they suck,” Rainbow said with an emphatic shake of her head.

The mare holding the dress quickly backpedled toward the door before she became a witness to a crime. “I can come back later,” Rarity’s now ex-client stammered, before beating a hasty retreat.

As soon as the door closed, Rarity flared her horn and flipped the sign so that the “closed” side faced the street. She fixed Rainbow with a decidedly hostile glare, furrowing her brow and grinding her hoof into the carpeted floor. “You just cost me a sale, probably a client, and you damaged my sterling reputation, which I have worked very hard to maintain!” she shrieked, no longer needing or wanting to hide her emotions.

Rainbow snorted. “It’s not so fun when someone messes with your life, is it?”

Rarity, rubbed her temples with both hooves and let out an exasperated sigh.“I swear, I have no idea what you could possibly be talking about.”

“Scoots came to talk to me today,” Rainbow said, figuring that explanation was all that was necessary.


Rarity’s voice softened as she imagined how that conversation must have gone. Between Scootaloo’s simple adoration and Rainbow’s startling lack of decorum it wouldn’t have surprised her if it went even worse than she had imagined. “That needed to be done,” Rarity whispered, unable to maintain eye contact with the mare standing in front of her.

“You needed to tell her I wanted to adopt her?”

Rarity’s head jerked sharply upwards. “I did no such thing!”

“Then where did she get the idea from, huh?”

“From you! You uncultured boorish narcissist!”

Rarity’s accusation left Rainbow visibly shaken. So much so that she sat down on her haunches until she remembered that she was still angry. She stood back up and resumed her yelling. “What the hay are you talking about? I never said I was going to adopt her, I didn’t even know she wanted to be adopted until you told me.”

“Hmph, imagine that, you were too busy thinking about yourself to notice what somepony else wanted! I’m shocked,” Rarity said, sarcasm dripping from the last two words.

Rainbow rolled her eyes, having heard Rarity’s insult too often for it to have any real effect. “Oh shut it. Who are you to make that call anyway, huh? Squirt and I had a good thing going and you’ve wrecked it.”

Who am I? I’m…. Well, I’m…

“I care about her,” she whispered, almost as though she was admitting it to herself as much as Rainbow. Rarity’s voice grew louder. “And until another option presents itself I am responsible for her.”

“Bang up job you’re doing there.” Rainbow sneered.

“At least I’m trying to help!” Rarity fired back.

But Rainbow refused to be cowed. She had thought a lot about Scootaloo since her last fight with Rarity and each time she came to the same conclusion, adopting her wouldn’t be fair to either of them. And she wasn’t being unreasonable by refusing to completely upend her life no matter how much Rarity tried to guilt her. Rainbow jabbed a hoof accusingly toward Rarity “No, you don’t get to pin that on me. We’ve been over this, you want my help, let me know what I can do. But I can’t adopt her, Rarity.”

Rarity lowered her head, trying to make eye contact so that Rainbow could register the concern in her voice. “Can you even imagine what it's like to feel as though nopony loves you. That’s what she’s going through,” she answered.

“Yeah, it's sad. But that isn't my responsibility!” Rainbow paused as she let Rarity’s words sink in. She really couldn’t imagine what it was like to feel well and truly alone in the world, but that didn’t change her belief that adopting Scootaloo would create more problems than it solved, for Scoots as well as her. “I do love her, but like a sister y’know?” she added, her voice more subdued now.

Rarity was forced to concede that she had been a little hard on Rainbow these past few days. Though if she had been it was only because the emotional stakes warranted it. She nodded, hoping her eyes conveyed some level of understanding that words couldn’t express. “I know, but I don't think you understand how much she loves you. All she wants is for you to adopt her, to love her. And when the idea that you might not came up, I don’t think she knew how to handle it.”

“Is that what you did? You just told her I didn't want to adopt her, out of the blue?” Rainbow asked, almost in disbelief.

Rarity considered whether Rainbow’s accusation had any merit. Thier conversation hadn’t exactly been “out of the blue” and she didn’t actually say the words Rainbow doesn’t want to adopt you. “Not exactly, no... but it's true, isn't it?”

“Yeah... but… she's not my responsibility,” Rainbow mumbled.

“Quite right, for the time being she's mine.” A troubling thought entered her head. Rainbow was here, Scootaloo was undoubtedly upset, but where was she? The question needed an answer. “Where is she?”

Rainbow shrugged apologetically. “I don’t know, she ran off.”

Rarity’s eyes grew wide as her heart started to race. “You let an emotionally traumatized filly just run away?”

“What was I supposed to do? It didn’t seem like she wanted to talk to me anymore.”

Rarity grunted a most un-lady like grunt. She couldn’t exactly argue with that thanks to her own experiences with being on Scootaloo’s “no talking” list. But as stubborn as the orange filly could be, it wouldn’t help solve any of the problems Rainbow, and maybe herself, had just created if they let her just wallow in self pity.

“We need to find her.”

Author's Note:

I know it's a short chapter, but it came out rather soon after my last one...so that.

Most authors love feedback. (Though y'all don't really need a reminder, you've been doing a great job on that front.)

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